Question of Palestine home
2 July 1985
Item 38 of the preliminary list*
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 1 July 1985 from the Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
It has been recently suggested that Israel's transfer of detainees from southern Lebanon to Israel is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
/ As my Government made clear in the following statement issued in the the first week of June, this is not so. Article 49, paragraph 2, specifically states:
"Nevertheless, the occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuation may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement".
Such a displacement was necessary in the case of a number of Lebanese detained in Ansar who participated in acts of violence against the IDF in Lebanon. (Their original detention by the IDF is permitted under article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.) In the process of the IDF' s withdrawal from southern Lebanon the conditions prevailing there necessitated the temporary transfer of these detainees to Israel.
Since this transfer, several hundred have been released to their homes and the remaining detainees will be released as soon as the conditions in southern Lebanon will enable the IDF to do so. This is also in full accordance with article 49, paragraph 2: "Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased".
Israel has thus acted in full accord with the Fourth Geneva Convention and accepted international practice.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under item 38 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.
) Benjamin NETANYAHU
*A/40/50 and Corr.1.
/ United Nations,
, vol. 75, No. 973, p. 287.